Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Get schooled this summer

Thinking about taking an online course this summer? You may have heard the acronym "MOOC" tossed around in discussions about online courses (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course), or have heard of companies like edX or Coursera. As more renown institutions (MIT, Stanford, University of Michigan, etc.) around the world are putting their courses online, many for free, a tool like SlideRule will help you find the course that's right for you.

SlideRule, which has indexed courses from almost one hundred providers, allows you to narrow down your choices by subject (Law, Engineering, etc.), provider (Coursera, Khan Academy, etc.) or university (Yale, Princeton, etc.). You can filter your results to those that provide you with a verified certificate, are "always on," or that use a particular teaching method (video vs. audio lecture, for example). You can then sort your results by start date, fees (free will be listed first) or ratings.

Subscribe to the SlideRule Blog and you will learn about free online courses available in the upcoming week.

For more articles on MOOCs and the state of online education in general, such as this recent article from US News & World Report, use your Fauquier County Public Library card to access the Find It Virginia PowerSearch or any of the library's magazine/journal/newspaper databases such as InfoTrac Newsstand or America's Newspapers from Newsbank.

Whether as a supplement to your traditional "bricks and mortar" education, for career enhancement or just for fun, online courses can provide you with flexible learning opportunities this summer and beyond.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

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